When your tv is watching you: DV court advocate issues warning about new surveillance risks

TRUSSVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — Trussville Police said that the suspect in a fatal murder suicide had allegedly used a GPS device to track the victim in the past, according to her family.

Capt. Jeff Bridges of the Trussville Police Department tells CBS 42 news that police have checked the murder victim’s vehicle, but found nothing.

YWCA Domestic Violence Court Advocate and former Birmingham Police Chief and Annetta Nunn says that type of thing can happen in domestic violence cases.

Nunn says she tells victims to be aware of a number of  surveillance technology threats that a potential stalker can exploit.

“They want to get power over them and then control them and they do it in different ways, but we have seen cases where technology has been used. I had a client several years ago that was telling me that the person that she was in a relationship with was following her around, knew all of her conversations and she couldn’t figure out how he always showed up where she was. And I actually contacted a former contact of mine with the Birmingham Police Department and asked them if they could search her car. And they did find a device had been planted on her car,” said Nunn.

Nunn says it also happens a lot with cell phone technology.

“It’s out there and when we do classes and presentations or we are talking to victims one on one we advise them to keep an eye on their phones. You need to have your screen locked because if they can get access to your phone there’s software out there that you can buy for little or nothing that they can download on your phones and they can track you from miles away, hear your conversations, text messages, cell phone calls and all,” said Nunn.

Technology is constantly evolving and smart phones aren’t the only potential portal for someone to keep an eye on a target, according to Nunn.

“You also have to watch the new televisions that are coming out because we have heard of cases that this new technology where the cameras are built into the sets themselves, some batterers are using that and while the victim is watching television the batterer’s actually watching them through the camera,” said Nunn.

If you’re in need of help, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224, or CLICK HERE for more information.

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